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Results of the TagungsBarometer Köln 2012 study released

Five per cent increase in the number of events; medical and pharmaceutical industry organizes the greatest number of events in Cologne

According to the results of the latest TagungsBarometer Köln study, a total of 45,069 events were held in Cologne in 2012, attracting 3.38 million participants. This represents a five per cent increase in the number of events since the previous year. Although the total number of participants dropped slightly by 0.7 per cent, the number of participants from outside Germany continued to rise.

At 6.4 per cent, this increase was higher in Cologne than in Germany as a whole (6.1 per cent on average). Compared to the previous year, the growth was especially pronounced for profession-related events, especially those held in event centres (up by 12.7 per cent). They accounted for more than two thirds of the turnover generated by Cologne’s event industry.

The event organizers from the Cologne area served as the most important domestic source market, accounting for almost two thirds of the total. The regional dominance is particularly pronounced in the event centres, where the organizers from the Cologne region accounted for far more than 90 per cent of the events. The ranking of the most important European source markets continues to be headed by the UK, followed by Switzerland and the Netherlands. The most important source markets overseas are the USA and China.

In the sector ranking, the medical and pharmaceutical industry has taken the lead from the banking and insurance sector, which headed the list for many years. The communications sector is in third place, followed by the automotive and machine industry. As in the previous year, the ranking for the non-profit organizations continues to be headed by business associations, followed by private clubs, social organizations and cultural associations.

Developments and potential
The number of recurring events is steadily increasing and the demand for exhibition space has risen as well. In addition, the percentage of events that are accompanied by exhibitions increased, as did the space required for these shows.

“The recurring events are especially important for Cologne because they ensure that the city always has a reliable number of events,” says Stephanie Franke, Director Conventions & Marketing at the Cologne Tourist Board. “However, they also mean that capacities are more quickly used up. This is especially the case in the spring and autumn months, which are very popular. As a result, some events can no longer take place in Cologne. We believe there is still a need for action in this regard, and we are still urgently calling for the construction of a new convention centre.”

This standpoint is underscored by the results of a supplementary survey of high-ranking event organizers and experts concerning the building of a new convention centre. The survey was conducted as part of the TagungsBarometer study.

Almost all of the people surveyed were in favour of a new convention centre with a main hall of sufficient size and a correspondingly large number of break-out rooms. The centre should also have sufficient amounts of exhibition space. A total of 40 per cent of the experts surveyed also stated that insufficient capacity has, at one time or another, prevented them from organizing an event in Cologne.

In the survey, the experts from the event industry also said that local scientific institutions play a key role in the selection of event venues. Christian Woronka, Head of the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB), knows how important this area of expertise is for Cologne. “In its marketing activities, the CCB plans to focus even more strongly on the great amount of scientific expertise that is concentrated here in Cologne,” he says. “It also plans to generate synergies and establish or intensify contacts with professors, departments and institutions.”

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